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Energy Summary for March 30, 2022

2022-03-30 20:15 ET - Market Summary

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by Stockwatch Business Reporter

West Texas Intermediate crude for May delivery added $3.58 to $107.82 on the New York Merc, while Brent for May added $3.22 to $113.45 (all figures in this para U.S.). Western Canadian Select traded at a discount of $10.80 to WTI, unchanged. Natural gas for May added 28 cents to $5.61. The TSX energy index added 1.22 points to close at 224.89.

Oil prices rose as markets braced for a potential disruption to Russian energy supplies. Earlier this month, Russian President Vladimir Putin set a deadline of March 31 -- tomorrow -- for the state-controlled Gazprom and the central bank to arrange to take payments for gas in rubles. The move is an attempt to support the ruble, which has collapsed against other currencies since Russia invaded Ukraine.

Indeed, the Kremlin hinted today that it might start pricing all of Russia's energy and commodity exports, including oil, metals and grains, in rubles. Most commodity transactions are currently done in U.S. dollars. It is not yet clear how the Kremlin would try to enforce the change. Even so, today's news forced the German government (which got over half of its gas from Russia in 2021) to declare an "early warning" that it might be heading for a supply emergency.

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